FRESNO Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The CVS in downtown Fresno announced its closing its doors in September, leaving Fulton Street with one less business and many residents with one less pharmacy.
Diane Gallegos works at the Masten Towers in downtown Fresno. It’s a low-income housing development for the elderly. She said the CVS pharmacy on Fulton Street is where those residents get their prescriptions and everyday essentials.
“It’s the only convenience they have, unfortunately, for the elderly who live in Masten Towers. They are able to come over and get their loaf of bread, their medication, their soda,” she said.
It is not clear why the CVS is closing down. In an email, a spokesperson for CVS said:
“We have made the difficult decision to close our pharmacy at 1302 Fulton Mall in Fresno on Tuesday, September 13, 2022. All prescriptions will be transferred to our CVS pharmacy at 3011 E. Shields Avenue.”CVS spokesperson
It’s a difficult move for customers like Albert Rios, who lives in the Masten Towers and rides his electric wheelchair to the CVS on Fulton Street.
“It’s really convenient for a lot of people that can’t walk. I got a problem, my legs get swollen. I run out of tape that medicare sends me, I come and get it here. I don’t have to go all the way to Rite Aid to get it,” he said.
The Rite-Aid Rios is referring to is at Fresno Street and B Street. It will now be the closest large retail pharmacy chain. Gallegos said when it comes to getting medications delivered, some residents might not be able to afford it.
“They’re on a fixed income and they’re telling me it’s like $2.80 per prescription. We can’t really bundle everything and some of them have 10-15 prescriptions that we pick up during the month,” she said.
Gallegos added that she believes another business closing down in downtown Fresno will not help attract people to the area.
“They just opened up the roads for this, to bring more people, and it’s just going to detour. Why come down?” she said.
We reached out to CVS for an interview as well as Council Member Miguel Arias and the Downtown Fresno Partnership but none of them were available to discuss plans moving forward The store officially closes on September 13.